Back to School Fall 2020: Equity, Excellence, and Well-Being
As the world rallies to respond to the current public health crisis and extraordinary circumstances facing our nation’s schools and students, new challenges are emerging as educators strive to promote equitable teaching, leading, and policymaking, whether at the K–12 level, in higher education, or in early care and education programs.
This month, we are highlighting resources to help you continue schooling this fall with a focus on equity, excellence, and well-being. Featuring collaborations with educators nationwide, this selection of resources provides practical guidance to help you continue to make a positive difference in the lives of children, youth, and adults.
Written primarily for district and school leaders, this paper produced by WestEd offers important considerations for keeping a focus on diverse student groups not just during this initial period of distance learning but, also, in planning for the 2020/21 school year and beyond.
This brief is designed to help educators make the critical shift from in-person learning to distance learning to support students who are English learners. The brief identifies and explains the value of four key practices known to be effective in meeting the instructional needs of English learner students, and provides guidance for how these practices might be applied in different types of distance learning contexts.
Remote learning has become the new normal, and educators have been racing to best serve students in distance learning environments. Among these students, English learners are a group that will require rigorous, well-supported content instruction with ample opportunities for language and critical skills development so that they are not left behind. While multiple organizations have offered extensive lists of resources, educators need to consider how these resources meet the needs for English learners by asking themselves, “What does this resource offer that can benefit English learners?”
This brief describes what administrators and teachers can do now to promote the benefits of mindfulness, a promising, evidence-based approach to helping educators and students develop self-awareness and self-regulation skills that are associated with success in school and through adulthood.
WestEd partnered with the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) to provide key guidance for the recently launched “Restart and Recovery: Considerations for Teaching and Learning”— a fully customizable series of vetted resources addressing system-level conditions, academics, and student wellbeing.
Many of the strategies educators and leaders use during in-person settings can also be used in the distance learning environment — learning objectives need to be adjusted and the activities might need a bit of alteration. This Insights post describes how to shift from seven common in-person scenarios — such as introductions and ice-breakers — to the digital environment.
Research shows that youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning or queer (LGBTQ) are at high risk for bullying and violence, poor mental health, and other challenges. This report describes the school experiences of LGBTQ students by examining two years of California Healthy Kids Survey data from approximately 800,000 secondary school students. The data reveal students’ perceptions of school supports, school safety, school engagement, academic performance, and mental health.
This new paper produced by WestEd explores the impact of a nearly inevitable economic recession and contraction in state revenues, including funding for public education. Written primarily for policymakers, the paper aims to provide districts and states making budget-cutting calculations with lessons learned from previous policy decisions which unintentionally exacerbated funding inequalities between lower- and higher-wealth school districts across the country. It also presents important research-based considerations about how funding and resource allocation affect the academic achievement of the country’s most vulnerable populations.
Featured WestEd Expertise & Thought Leadership
The WestEd Justice & Prevention Research Center conducts high-quality research to help guide decision-making to address challenges of crime, violence, injustice, and other societal problems. The Center’s Director, Anthony Petrosino, co-authored this article with his spouse, Professor Emerita, Dr. Carolyn Turpin-Petrosino, reflecting on race and policing from their unique perspectives as an interracial couple and longtime criminologists.
WestEd’s Rorie Fitzpatrick recommends three actions state and local education agencies can take to support students with disabilities through school closures and the transition back to school settings.
WestEd’s Natalie Walrond addresses the kind of learning environment and relationships all students need for success when school buildings reopen.
With high school graduation rates up and dropout rates down over the past decade, educators are concerned that school closures could impact this progress. REL West’s BethAnn Berliner spoke with one of the nation’s leading dropout prevention scholars, Dr. Russell W. Rumberger, to discuss strategies for keeping all students engaged and moving forward.
Featured Events & Webinars
Join WestEd Senior Research Scientist Aída Walqui for an engaging online series that highlights scholarly perspectives on the education of English learners across a wide variety of settings.
Educators and students alike face unprecedented uncertainty around the upcoming school year. Available August 13, this archived webinar focuses on restoring environments and relationships to support student wellness, connection, and ultimately, achievement.
This archived webinar discusses the importance of self-care for educators during the pandemic, addressing areas related to maintaining healthy mindsets, encouraging connectedness and belonging, and establishing realistic boundaries and interactions.
The National Center for Systemic Improvement (NCSI) helps states transform their systems to improve outcomes for children and youth with disabilities.
Carnegie Math Pathways’ new fully online virtual courses take a novel approach to online learning. A robust, contextualized curriculum is integrated with video conferencing that enables student collaboration, alongside social-emotional support routines to create a high-quality online math learning experience.
The WestEd Justice & Prevention Research Center highlights the rigorous research and evaluation work that WestEd researchers conduct in school safety, violence and crime prevention, juvenile and criminal justice, and public health. A primary goal of the Center is to become a “trusted” source of evidence on the effects of policies and programs in these areas.
For a complete list of events, resources, and perspectives to support fall 2020 back-to-school planning, visit our COVID-19 webpage. You’ll find helpful solutions categorized by the following topics:
- Distance and At-Home Learning
- Early Childhood
- English Learners
- Health, Safety, & Well-Being
- Online Professional Development
- Resource Planning & Management
- Science & Mathematics
- Special Education
Posted on August 21, 2020